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Saturday, January 1, 2022

Top 10 Most Popular Programming Languages of the Last 50 Years and their Inventors

There are many programming languages out there in the software world, and they are still coming like Scala, Go, TypeScript, Rust, etc., but only a handful of them have managed to survive to date. These are the ones who have contributed immensely to software development. Since programming language is the single most important thing in the software development world, it's often discussed, criticized, and improved over the years. Programmers and developers, who those programming languages are icons of the programming world and sometimes I feel sad when a guy using a programming language doesn't know, who is behind that.

Though it happens less often with a more popular programming language like Java, where everybody knows James Gosling as the father of Java, not every developer knows who created Perl, Pascal, Lisp, or Erlang.

These thoughts motivate me to collect and share, names of programmers and designers behind 10 of the most popular and successful programming languages.

On my search, I bump into a beautiful infographic, which I have shared with your guys at the bottom of this post. The infographic also puts together 10 of the most popular programming language of the last 50 years, which I thought to share with you guys.

Top 10 Programming Language and their Inventors

Here is my list of high 10 programming language and their creators. Words are listed in no particular order, but since I am a Java developer and benefited a lot from Java, I have no hesitation in putting it on top of the list.

I know many C programmers will not agree as C is the longest surviving, yet going strong programming language, but this is not about ranking but about understanding and remembering their creators.

The master programmers have made a difference in the world of programming language and software development.

1. Java - James Gosling

Java is one of the most popular and successful programming languages. Dr. James Arthur Gosling has invented Java and is best known as the father of the Java programming language.

Java was developed and supported earlier by Sun Microsystem and now by Oracle, after their acquisition of Sun Microsystem in January 2010.

Java is created with mission WORA, "Write Once Run Anywhere" and the platform independence of Java is one of the pillars of its success in the enterprise world.

To date, it is one of the most popular application programming languages, and if you want to learn Java, the Complete Java MasterClass course is an excellent place to start with.

most popular programming languages

2. C - Dennis Ritchie

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, An American computer scientist, created the C programming language between 1967 and 1973 at AT& T Bell Labs.

C is still very popular and used extensively in System programming. It's older than Java but still maintains its stronghold.

By the way, Dennis Ritchie has also created a world-famous UNIX operating system with his long-time colleague Ken Thompson.

If you compare his popularity with Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, he is nowhere, but if you compare Dennis' contribution to the software world, he has no matching.

Every Programmer must know about Dennis Ritchie and his contribution to the programming world. If you want to learn C, then you may enjoy C Programming for Beginners course, which will help you to become a better C programmer. It also explains pointers in useful detail.

best programming language for system programming

Btw, if you are looking for some free tutorials and courses, then you can also check out this list of these free Data Structure and Algorithm courses in C to learn more about C programming and algorithms.

3. C++ - Bjarne Stroustrup

Bjarne Stroustrup, born 30 December 1950 in Aarhus, Denmark, is a Danish computer scientist, most notable for the creation and development of the widely-used C++ programming language.

C++, as the name suggested, is the next-generation language at the time C was popular. It comes with an object-oriented programming feature, which was considered phenomenal compared to the structural way of C programming.

Btw, C++ is still one of the common languages and is used extensively in the high-frequency trading world because of its close proximity to native Systems and popular object-oriented features.

If you want to learn C++, then you can check out C++: From Beginner to Expert Course on Udemy, Designed for people who don't have any knowledge about programming and want to program in C++.

best programming language for embedded programming

And, if you are looking to start with some free stuff, then you can also check out this list of free C++ courses to learn C++ by yourself.

4. Python - Guido van Rossum

Python is a general-purpose, high-level programming language whose design philosophy emphasizes code readability. Its syntax is said to be bright and expressive. Python is designed by Guido van Rossum of CWI.

In the United States, Python has actually replaced Java at the academic level, nowadays students are started learning to program using Python instead of C or Java, as was the case of the previous generation.

If you are still not sure whether to use Python or Java to start with programming, this infographic may help you.

Python is used extensively in web application development, there are lots of python based web frameworks out there, software development, and information security.

Python is also used extensively by tech giants like Google, Yahoo, and Spotify. If you are interested in learning Python this year, then The Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from zero to hero in Python 3 course by Jose Portilla on Udemy is an excellent course. It is specially designed for beginner programmers.

best programming language for data science

Btw, if you want more choices, then I have shared a couple of the best Python courses to start with. You may want to check those out.

5. PHP - Rasmus Lerdorf

No matter how much you hate PHP, you just can't ignore the fact that half of the internet is running on this beautiful internet language. PHP was initially created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995.

The first implementation of PHP is now produced by The PHP Group and serves as the formal reference to the PHP language.

At that time, PHP was a competitor to Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) server-side script engine and similar languages, like Java Server Pages (JSP), but gradually received better acceptance and is now installed on more than 20 million Web sites and 1 million Web servers.

It is also open source and used by internet giants like Facebook, Wikipedia, WordPress, and Joomla. PHP is used extensively to build dynamic web pages and server-side development.  If you want to learn PHP and need an online course, I suggest you check out PHP for Beginners - Become a PHP Master - CMS Project course on Udemy. 

best programming language for websites

Btw, If you want to learn PHP, then here is a list of some free PHP and MySQL courses to start with. and So Sorry, I forgot to tell you the full form of PHP, any guess? It's Personal Home Page :)

6. Perl - Larry Wall

Perl is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language. Designed and developed by Larry Wall in the mid-1980s. Perl rose to fame because of its excellent text processing capability.

It is still the primary language to develop reports, scripts on UNIX systems. Perl is known for parsing and processing massive text files and its used in CGI, database applications, network programming, and graphics programming.

Perl is also used extensively by internet companies like IMDB, Amazon, and Priceline.

For Java developers, adding Perl or Python in their portfolio is an excellent addition because you often need a scripting language to do ad-hoc tasks for maintenance and support purpose, and if you want to learn Perl, then Learn Perl 5 by Doing is a great course to start with.

best programming language for scripting and text processing

7. JavaScript - Brendan Eich

If you ask me which language the winner is in the last 5 to 10 years, I would say JavaScript. It has clearly dominated the client-side scripting space in the recent past with libraries like jQuery and now moving to Server-side development with libraries like node.js.

JavaScript is a prototype-based scripting language that is dynamic, weakly typed, and has first-class functions, designed by Brendan Eich and developed by Netscape Communications Corporation.

JavaScript is used extensively for client-side scripting, validation, animation, event capturing, form submission, and other everyday tasks. It runs inside the browser and is used by almost all websites, e.g. Gmail, Mozilla Firefox, etc.

If you want to learn JavaScript then I highly recommend you to join The Complete JavaScript Course: Build a Real-World Project by Jonas Schmedtmann on Udemy. It's my favorite and one of the best online courses to learn JavaScript. 

best programming language for web development

I strongly recommend learning JavaScript to all programmers, and if you want, here is a list of some free JavaScript courses to start with.

8. Ruby - Yukihiro Matsumoto

Ruby was first designed and developed in the mid-1990s by Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto in Japan. It's fun working with Ruby, and if you tried Ruby with Rails, you know what I mean.

Ruby is influenced by Perl, Ada, Lisp, and Smalltalk and designed for productive and enjoyable programming.

Ruby is mostly used for web application development and used by major sites like Twitter, Hulu, and Groupon. And, if you want to start with Ruby and Rails and need an online course to start with then I recommend you to check out The Complete Ruby on Rails Developer Course by Rob Percival on Udemy. 

best programming language for web developers

And, if you need free online courses to learn Ruby as well as Ruby on Rails then, here is a list of free Ruby Programming courses to start with.

9. Lisp - John McCarthy

John McCarthy, second-oldest high-level programming language. Lisp stands for the List Processor.

I have never tried Lisp, but it's said to be the father of functional programming languages,  like Haskell, Erlang, or Scala.  It is mostly used for AL development and air defense system.

10. Pascal - Niklaus Wirth

Pascal is an influential imperative and procedural programming language, designed in 1968–1969 and published in 1970 by Niklaus Wirth as a small and efficient language intended to encourage good programming practices using structured programming and data structuring.

And, here is the infographic, which gives you an excellent overview of 10 programming language and their creators. It contains some of the languages mentioned here, plus some additional languages like FORTRAN and Ada.
Top 10 Programming Language and creators

That's all about the top 10 programming languages of the last 50 years and their creators. They have made an enormous difference in the programming world, and without their contribution, we would not be here. Some of them are here with us, and some of them have left us for a better place, let's remember them for their contribution to our programming world.

Recommended Articles for curious Programmers

Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like this article then please share it with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions or feedback then please drop a note.


Joel said...

Something that struck me is that nobody was on the list twice. Don't know if they were "stuck" in a particular paradigm or....

Anonymous said...

Inforgraphicsin higher resolution:

Jack Parsons said...

Lisp is the second oldest high-level language? What do you count as oldest? COBOL? Plankalkül?

Anonymous said...

Can't believe Objective C was NOT mentioned. It's on every iOS device as well the core of OS X. It was a Smalltalk for C programmers language that was clean and elegant. It is also were Java picked up Interfaces.

Javin said...

@Anonymous, Indeed Objective C is great language of this decade but its only for iPhone, that might be the reason.

Javin said...

@Jack Parsons, I think COBOL is the oldest living legend of programming languages :)

Javin said...

@Anonymous, good luck for your Java journey, you will find many good resource for learning Java in this blog, keep coming.

Julia said...

Look at this list of most popular programming languages in 2017

Unknown said...

Thanks for such a nice information. We have been using this languages since long but still we don't know the creator of that language but as all creators are mentioned here so its easy for us to know that.

Vlad said...

You'd want Java for Android, Swift/Objective-C for iOS. If you are going on windows, C# is probably the way to go.

If you are intending to use framework/engine then it really depends, Unity 3D uses both C# and Java.

Considering overall usage and demand I'd say Java if I have to choose one, since Swift/Objective-C and C# are somewhat platform specific in terms of practical deployment.

javin paul said...

Hello @Vlad, indeed Java is the best language to learn but being a Polyglot makes your really valuable, I suggest learning JavaScript, Python and Groovy to make yourself more productive and valuable. Each of them has their value. Java developer at least should learn Groovy.

Unknown said...

I really loved this blog and everyday I do see something new which most of the time adds to my knowledge and motivated me to do things differently. Thanks Javin

javin paul said...

Thanks @Unknown

Anonymous said...

Need to improve and should give information in French.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog!

Anonymous said...

😊 thanks 😊

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